Chapter 2(B) - Fires of Hell.   Posted by Siriel.Group: archive 0
Siriel
 GM, 924 posts
Fri 20 Jul 2012
at 17:14
Chapter 2(B) - Fires of Hell
Jared, Solomon and Avelyn regained consciousness.

Or perhaps they never lost it, it was hard to tell.

The first thing they noticed is that the temperature was completely different. This was not Goldar's cold desolation.
No, it was hot. An oppressing heat that made the air hard to breathe.

They were lying on a red stone floor, or at least it appeared to be stone. When they opened their eyes, all they could see was each others, and a seemingly endless expanse of that stone.

And an immense figure of fire standing ten meters away from them. It seemed impossible, but from the concentration of flames, they could make up the form of what appeared to be an armored knight, the separation of his limbs noticeable because the flames were paler there. Perhaps it was even holding weapons, but it was hard to tell for sure - the armor and weapons were also made of the same flame that it was. Such was the heat emanating from it that the stone beneath it was steaming.
It towered over them, mesuring at least six meters. And even for a human of that size, It would be considered incredibly large.
A harsh voice came from the figure, thundering in the silent, empty expanse.

"You are awake."

It was not a question, and it sounded less like a statement than an order.

This message was last edited by the GM at 17:21, Fri 20 July 2012.

Avelyn Golias
 player, 974 posts
Fri 20 Jul 2012
at 18:29
Re: Chapter 2(B) - Fires of Hell
In reply to Siriel (msg # 1):

Avelyn blinked. Was she dead? It was hard to breathe. And hot. Even Dalaborn's fiercest forges paled in comparison. She coughed, and blinked again. Well, she needed to breathe.

That means life...I think.

There was a voice. Commanding. Vast. She lifted her head to look. Oh. So she was dead. And here was her jailer, a massive knight of pure fire, come to drag her to the place where all failed knights go to.

Odd though; she still had her armour. And her spear felt real enough in her hand. She felt around with her left and found her great warhammer. Yes, that felt real too.

Where was she?

She sat up and looked around, and saw two figures. The slightly bulky, bald form of Jared, and the slender, platinum blonde figure of Solomon. They had joined her in a last stand, protecting Jack as he worked the orb.

Jack. Where was Jack?

She looked at the flaming knight again. It was hard to take your eyes off it. But she forced herself to, turning back to the others.

"Jared, Solomon, are you alright? Where's Jack?"
Solomon Chastain
 player, 878 posts
 Delighted to meet you.
 Charmed, I'm sure.
Fri 20 Jul 2012
at 20:35
Re: Chapter 2(B) - Fires of Hell
In reply to Avelyn Golias (msg # 2):

I won't leave you, Jack.  I'm never going to leave you.

The roar of the wind was deafening.  Solomon was buffeted by forces beyond anything he had ever witnessed in his life.  The walls shook violently.  It was as though Casus was tearing the very fabric of reality asunder.

And all the while, Jack focused his energies on the orb.  And all the while, Solomon stayed with him.

I'm never going to leave you.

He was going to die unless Jack achieved the impossible.  Casus' fury reached a crescendo.  The energies he was accumulating coalesced into a final, all-encompassing, demonstration of pure rage.

I'm never going to..

And then the World turned white.

..never...

Siriel:
You are awake.


Then suddenly, just as suddenly as it had started, the whiteness was gone.

And all the while, Solomon stayed strong to support.... Jack?  JACK?!!

Siriel:
You are awake.


The words echoed in his head.   Jack?!  Where is Jack?!!

Solomon's eyes were wide open; wide open in a furious tempest of terror, amazement, awe, dread and concern for his friend.  Friends.  Jared and Avelyn had been there too. Solomon's eyes were wide open and they saw.  Casus was gone.  The cave was gone.  JACK IS GONE!!

Siriel:
You are awake.

Avelyn Golias:
Jared, Solomon, are you alright?


"Err... Yes.  Yes.  It appears so." Solomon replied, hazily.  Although he wasn't sure which of those questions he was answering.  Both, probably.

Avelyn Golias:
Where is Jack?


"I... I... I don't know.  Where ANY of us are."

I'm never going to leave you.

Solomon looked up to the giant, flaming figure, and spoke; suddenly with an air of absolute serenity and confidence.

"Greetings, sir.  I wonder if you would mind clearing something up, please.  Where are we?"

There was so much to take in.  So much to be afraid of.  To be in awe of.  But Solomon didn't care.

...never...

And a single tear ran down his cheek.

This message was last edited by the player at 20:36, Fri 20 July 2012.

Siriel
 GM, 929 posts
Fri 20 Jul 2012
at 21:23
Re: Chapter 2(B) - Fires of Hell
The fiery figure looked down at them.

"Am I to know what you mortals call this realm? You have called it a thousand names in the past. Names fade, this place remain."

This message was last edited by the GM at 21:24, Fri 20 July 2012.

Jared Folkes
 player, 197 posts
Fri 20 Jul 2012
at 21:36
Re: Chapter 2(B) - Fires of Hell
In reply to Solomon Chastain (msg # 3):

The dust settled, and now the fires raged.

A single question was on Jared's lips as the world changed.

"Will I see them again?"

The old soldier blinked, disturbed by his surroundings. A land of heated stone, much like the inside of a kiln.

He was well-acquainted with kilns, having grown up with them. And a land like that was not a land that was kind to life, if there was any beyond this flaming entity. That notion was quickly revised when he heard two familiar figures speak.

Their voices. Could it be-

He turned, and there they were. Lady Avelyn and Sir Chastain, in the flesh. But Sir Jack was not with them.

Avelyn Golias:
Jared, Solomon, are you alright?


"Indeed, dear Countess. But where has Sir Jack gone to? And why have we come here, wherever this place is?"

Two good souls had been placed here as well, so this could not be the burning destination of their afterlives.

Could it be that the Orb was responsible?
Solomon Chastain
 player, 879 posts
 Delighted to meet you.
 Charmed, I'm sure.
Fri 20 Jul 2012
at 22:32
Re: Chapter 2(B) - Fires of Hell
Siriel:
The fiery figure looked down at them.

"Am I to know what you mortals call this realm? You have called it a thousand names in the past. Names fade, this place remain."

"Ah.  I see.  Thank you.". Solomon smiled.  His face showed some delight and relief, as he realised that Jack at least was not in this place.  Perhaps then, there was hope.  For the boy at least.  But while Solomon's face showed some pleasure, his voice was deadpan.

"I must confess, I had hoped for an alternative destination at journey's end, but I would never have been so conceited as to assume.

So.  Eternity.  I'm sure it will fly by.

Might I ask if you have anything specific in mind for us?"
Siriel
 GM, 931 posts
Fri 20 Jul 2012
at 22:46
Re: Chapter 2(B) - Fires of Hell
"Fool."

The being showed no reaction, not that flames made for a particularly expressive figure to begin with, but it's voice carried a disdain that was not there before.

"I had some small interest in mortals that she had deemed interesting, but I see that you cannot compare to that one. And I do not indulge whims, not even hers.
You are given a choice, mortals. I will return you to your world, if you agree to bring the orb that was in your possession to the right place. Know that a pledge in this place is more binding than death.
"

This message was last edited by the GM at 22:47, Fri 20 July 2012.

Solomon Chastain
 player, 880 posts
 Delighted to meet you.
 Charmed, I'm sure.
Fri 20 Jul 2012
at 23:06
Re: Chapter 2(B) - Fires of Hell
In reply to Siriel (msg # 7):

Return us to our world?  My my.  I've barely been dead for a minute and I'm already being offered pacts with the devil.  Still, it's at least worth finding out the details, isn't it?

Solomon now bowed his head respectfully as he once more addressed the imposing figure, crackling with flames before him.

"Sire, I most humbly apologise if you have found my manner in any way disrespectful or glib.  Given the situation we left, and the situation we now find ourselves in, I had assumed our residency here to be a little less 'transient'.

With all due respect, Sire, who is this 'she' of whom you speak; if I may be so bold?  And what might constitute 'the right place' for us to take the orb?"
Jared Folkes
 player, 198 posts
Sat 21 Jul 2012
at 01:58
Re: Chapter 2(B) - Fires of Hell
In reply to Solomon Chastain (msg # 8):

"Quite. You should be aware of the pitfalls that accompany a lack of information, Lord Knight. Signs can be misinterpreted, cryptic hints overthought. Will you not speak plainly and clearly so that we may carry out a delivery that does not aggravate all parties involved?"

Such questions as to the nature of this land and our souls being displaced should be asked later, when moods are not so prone to imbalance.
Siriel
 GM, 935 posts
Sat 21 Jul 2012
at 02:37
Re: Chapter 2(B) - Fires of Hell
"Her name would be of no meaning to you and I know not where she intends for you to bring the orb, nor do I care. I was tasked to offer this chance, and informed that the location would be provided after your return."

The flames around the being had flared up when it had declared that it cared not, and irritation had snuck into it's voice, though it did not seem to be directed toward them.

"And I am no knight. Knights are those hold a position of some prestige. I am Agni. That is sufficient."

A growl came from him.

 "Now accept, mortals. You who live such short lives are always desperate for more time - and there is no second chance in this place."

This message was last edited by the GM at 20:08, Thu 09 Aug 2012.

Avelyn Golias
 player, 976 posts
Sat 21 Jul 2012
at 04:45
Re: Chapter 2(B) - Fires of Hell
In reply to Siriel (msg # 10):

Agni. Had she read that name before in her brief studies? No matter. This was a creature of magic, and a powerful one. Just looking at the thing felt intimidating, all the more so in this hellishly hot place.

It gave them an offer, apparently from an entity it currently served. They could be sent back, but they would have to bring the orb to a place that would be made known to them only upon their return. It sought a bargain. She pushed aside thoughts of Jack for now. The boy was not here.

The Agni's words were filled with power, yet strangely sounded hollow to Avelyn's ears. She had already given up her time willingly. She was not desperate for more of it. If anything, its attempt to overpower their wills and get them to accept the deal immediately suggested that its own mission was on the clock.

"You have misunderstood the situation, Agni. The thought of being sent back is...pleasing, I'll grant you, but has no hold beyond that," she said, then gestured to Solomon and Jared with a wave of her hand, "we, all three of us, accepted that we would die when we made our stand earlier. It was for a noble purpose, and we hold no regret for our actions. Whatever death and the afterlife have in store for us, if anything, we have already gathered the resolve to face."

Avelyn looked up, narrowing her eyes at the 'head' of the creature, though she had no idea if such body parts even applied to it.

"But you, you have been sent to us. Your lady wants something from us. Something connected to our realm. She has a greater stake in it now than we do, and so, contrary to the common wisdom around here, time is on our side."

Leaning her spear against her shoulder, she made a cutting motion with her hand.

"I said this to Al Sheivan and I'll say it to you. I do not accept blind trades. You say you do not know where this artifact is to be taken? Find out and inform us. You do not care? It does not matter. Your lady cares, and she's the one proposing this deal. Then tell us exactly how this deal would bind us in the real world."

This message was last edited by the player at 05:08, Sat 21 July 2012.

Siriel
 GM, 936 posts
Sat 21 Jul 2012
at 05:19
Re: Chapter 2(B) - Fires of Hell
In reply to Avelyn Golias (msg # 11):

There was a short moment of silence, and then a laugh came from the figure as it expanded, become a blaze as the flames flared wildly, the laugh sounding more disturbing than amused.

"Very good! That is how it should be. Never give up, to anything."

The fire settled down, the figure once more seeming humanoid.

"You are wise to ask for details, but you have mistaken your place. I am not bound to follow her will or whims. I have agreed to this task out of...respect, and curiosity. But I am not a servant to be sent carrying messages back and forth. I am Agni."

The figure waved it's left hand, a trail of sparks following it and vanishing into the air.

"If you agree, your word will bind you. Should you forsake the contract, you would be consumed from within. I have heard it said that one's very soul is consumed, though I have never verified it for myself."

This message was last edited by the GM at 05:24, Sat 21 July 2012.

Avelyn Golias
 player, 977 posts
Sat 21 Jul 2012
at 09:33
Re: Chapter 2(B) - Fires of Hell
In reply to Siriel (msg # 12):

Avelyn breathed an inward sigh of relief. She'd read the creature correctly; standing her ground had won approval, perhaps even a sliver of respect.

So the beast was not a servant, more of a peer of sorts to the 'female' entity. But it greatly respected her, and it was curious about this deal. Even entertained now, perhaps.

It told them the consequences of the deal. Death. Possibly oblivion. If she found the task to be drastically against her conscience, that...was an acceptable price. She'd already faced death at Casus's hands. What was one more time?

"Fair enough. What was it that piqued your curiosity?"

This message was last edited by the player at 11:21, Sat 21 July 2012.

Solomon Chastain
 player, 882 posts
 Delighted to meet you.
 Charmed, I'm sure.
Sat 21 Jul 2012
at 13:40
Re: Chapter 2(B) - Fires of Hell
In reply to Avelyn Golias (msg # 13):

Solomon had to admire The Countess' defiance in the face of this being.  This 'Agni'.  If Solomon's suspicions were correct, this was not someone used to experiencing defiance.  However, Agni had responded to it with some pleasure.  Or at least amusement.

He decided that a confident approach was clearly the right one, and so emboldened himself to address Agni once more.  His tone was respectful, but with a confidence that belied the perilous nature of their situation.

"Mighty Agni" he began. Any other term of address struck him as somewhat trite in the circumstances.  "I believe I speak for my comrades as well when I say that both you and this lady of whom you speak have our eternal gratitude for providing us with this opportunity.  I am sure that the gratitude of mortals means less than nothing to one such as you, but nonetheless.  You have it."

Solomon paused, and respectfully nodded his appreciation.

"However," he continued, "that is the only matter on which I feel able to speak on their behalf.  The noble souls of these two warriors are in their own hands, just as my soul is my own hands.  Would you be amenable to my friends and I consulting with one another briefly before presenting you with our decision?"
Siriel
 GM, 939 posts
Sat 21 Jul 2012
at 16:58
Re: Chapter 2(B) - Fires of Hell
In reply to Avelyn Golias (msg # 13):

"She has taken interest in a mortal in the past. I wished to see how you compared. The results are not in your favor."

In reply to Solomon Chastain (msg # 14):

Very well. But know that my patience is not limitless.
Avelyn Golias
 player, 978 posts
Sat 21 Jul 2012
at 17:23
Re: Chapter 2(B) - Fires of Hell
These beings were supposed to be ancient. How long had they existed? Centuries? Millenia?

"In one mortal? In all the time she has existed. One mortal." Avelyn shrugged, "I'd be very surprised if you found I did measure up. I'm not a legend. Yet."

There were more urgent questions than that one. But she'd needed time to compose herself. It woundn't do for others to hear her voice tremble now.

"There were others of our group nearby. A boy who was manipulating the orb. Some who left moments earlier. Where are they? Why weren't they brought here? I imagine it would have been better for Her to bind as many people to this deal as possible."
Siriel
 GM, 940 posts
Sat 21 Jul 2012
at 17:27
Re: Chapter 2(B) - Fires of Hell
Avelyn Golias:
These beings were supposed to be ancient. How long had they existed? Centuries? Millenia?

"In one mortal? In all the time she has existed. One mortal." Avelyn shrugged, "I'd be very surprised if you found I did measure up. I'm not a legend. Yet."

There were more urgent questions than that one. But she'd needed time to compose herself. It woundn't do for others to hear her voice tremble now.

"There were others of our group nearby. A boy who was manipulating the orb. Some who left moments earlier. Where are they? Why weren't they brought here? I imagine it would have been better for Her to bind as many people to this deal as possible."

"I was to make the offer to those who arrived here. Of your situation before you arrived, I know nothing."

This message was last edited by the GM at 17:27, Sat 21 July 2012.

Solomon Chastain
 player, 883 posts
 Delighted to meet you.
 Charmed, I'm sure.
Sat 21 Jul 2012
at 18:12
Re: Chapter 2(B) - Fires of Hell
Siriel:
In reply to Solomon Chastain (msg # 14):

Very well. But know that my patience is not limitless.

"Thank you, Mighty Agni.  That is understood."

Solomon turned to the others and spoke in hushed tones.

"My friends, whilst I appreciate that brevity is not usually one of my strengths, time is of the essence.  We know nothing of the lady of whom Agni speaks, yet I recall a little about this being himself.  Details would be tricky in our current circumstances, however he does have something of a 'less favourable' reputation amongst certain institutions of our world.  But then I am sure the same would be true of some of our friends, were they better known.  Suffice to say, as I am sure you have guessed, this Agni is not someone who it is worth our while attempting to challenge directly.  Casus, whose power dwarfed our own, is less than nought to him.  His motives in this matter may be called into question, however if we are realistic someone of his might; or that of the lady he so clearly respects; would not need us for this.  Should we refuse; which I am open to consider; they will find others to do this work.  And we will die.  Should we accept, at least we will remain in the world to do some good.

What are your thoughts, my friends?"
Avelyn Golias
 player, 979 posts
Sat 21 Jul 2012
at 18:40
Re: Chapter 2(B) - Fires of Hell
In reply to Siriel (msg # 17):

This...Agni's involvement in this whole affair was minimal. He was not the one who saved them, nor did he have any stake in the outcome of the deal. He was not a servant of the entity offering them this deal either. Yet this...lady? The fiery being did strongly emphasise the entity as female, for whatever that meant to beings such as them. Yet this lady had made a special request of him to meet with Avelyn, Solomon and Jared in her place. Why?

Of course...

"I want to know of the being with whom we may be striking a deal with. You are right, a name would mean nothing to us. But what is she like? How has she earned your respect?"
Siriel
 GM, 941 posts
Sat 21 Jul 2012
at 18:59
Re: Chapter 2(B) - Fires of Hell
Avelyn Golias:
This...Agni's involvement in this whole affair was minimal. He was not the one who saved them, nor did he have any stake in the outcome of the deal. He was not a servant of the entity offering them this deal either. Yet this...lady? The fiery being did strongly emphasise the entity as female, for whatever that meant to beings such as them. Yet this lady had made a special request of him to meet with Avelyn, Solomon and Jared in her place. Why?

Of course...

"I want to know of the being with whom we may be striking a deal with. You are right, a name would mean nothing to us. But what is she like? How has she earned your respect?"

There was a moment of silence and when it spoke, there was something utterly condescending in it's tone, as it was speaking to a particularly dim-witted child.

"Gods do not earn respect, mortal. Not even from one such as I. They have it."

It gestured with it's right hand.

"Now make your choice. Discuss it if you must, but be swift."

This message was last edited by the GM at 19:02, Sat 21 July 2012.

Jared Folkes
 player, 199 posts
Sat 21 Jul 2012
at 19:09
Re: Chapter 2(B) - Fires of Hell
In reply to Solomon Chastain (msg # 18):

"The purpose of the Orb's arrival does not appear to be calamitous, so I find myself more willing to undergo this journey." Jared whispered to the two.

"Beyond that, I am not too concerned with the mission of carrying an item for somebody else. I am quite used to that." His hand gravitated towards his rapier, but stopped.

"With no objections on my part, we must turn to Lady Avelyn for her thoughts. Have you decided yet, Dear Countess?"
Avelyn Golias
 player, 980 posts
Sat 21 Jul 2012
at 19:43
Re: Chapter 2(B) - Fires of Hell
In reply to Jared Folkes (msg # 21):

So this 'She' was a god. An interesting start. Gods had religion, after all.

Avelyn nodded, then turned to her companions. She paused, and realised she was smiling slightly despite it all. She was supposed to be dead right now. She'd braced herself for it. But now they could live. And if they didn't meet the condition they were tasked with, they'd pretty much go back to where she'd originally accepted she'd be: dead.

Oh there was some business about whether her soul might be affected if she broke the contract, but really, how could you plan around an afterlife? Nobody had actually seen what it was like. So she basically would live life with an extra, temporary string attached, a string she could cut early at any time if it became necessary.

So, despite her instinctual fear of this towering immortal creature of fire, and of this oppressive place that might very well be hell, this felt like a vast improvement.

There was a strand of worry pulling in her chest though, one that she knew would grow once she was sent back.

I hope the others got out alright.

Solomon and Jared both were in favour of accepting, as was she.

"I say we accept. I will not plan my life around a heaven nobody has ever seen. The deal will either prove be an inconvenience or unacceptable. The former will be an improvement, and the latter will bring me back to a situation I already accepted."
Jared Folkes
 player, 200 posts
Sat 21 Jul 2012
at 19:50
Re: Chapter 2(B) - Fires of Hell
In reply to Avelyn Golias (msg # 22):

Very well. It was time to go back and survey the damage, it seemed. It was sad, but this was not a situation that was uncommon. The survivors would mourn, and continue their fight for what they thought to be right.

The life of a warrior was fraught with loss. This was known and accepted.

He could only hope that their fallen companions could be given proper burials.

"Lady Avelyn. Sir Chastain. It appears that it is time for our return."

Away from a dead land, and back to the world they loved. Maybe they could save their small slice of it.
Solomon Chastain
 player, 884 posts
 Delighted to meet you.
 Charmed, I'm sure.
Sat 21 Jul 2012
at 19:59
Re: Chapter 2(B) - Fires of Hell
In reply to Avelyn Golias (msg # 22):

Solomon nodded his agreement to both his friends, and once more turned to face Agni.

"Mighty one, my friends and I have reached accord.  These mere mortals shall not defy the will of gods.  You may tell that lady, in all her glory, that Jared Folkes, Avelyn Golias and Solomon Chastain do readily accept her terms.  She has but to tell us whence to take the orb, and it shall be done."

A little dramatic perhaps, but the moment called for a little drama.

Solomon graciously lowered himself to one knee, and bowed his head.
Siriel
 GM, 943 posts
Sat 21 Jul 2012
at 20:06
Re: Chapter 2(B) - Fires of Hell
There was some amusement and exasperation in the being's response.

"Of course you do. Mortals never refuse such an offer."

He lifted his hand, palm pointed down toward them.

"Let it not be claimed that I have deceived you, but know that though I have shielded you while you were here, your return may not be pleasant."

The flame grew until it filled their entire vision, and then there was nothing but a terrible pain as they lost consciousness.